Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's here! Almost...

Yesterday, Tim and I got up at 2 am to head to Indy for our flight to Portland.  Rewind, though, to the night before.  We had to pack.  I've never had to pack for a marathon before.  Let's just say it was, at times, a tense experience.  "I don't need those?  Why?  Can't I take them just in case?"  This was in reference to hats, gloves, and tights--none of which the weather predicted us needing.  But you NEVER KNOW.   I also brought three different race outfits and three different pairs of Frees.  "Why?" Tim asked.  Well...what if my race shoes just fall apart (as they have done in a taper dream)?

We went to bed at a decent hour, but neither of us was ready for the 2 am alarm.   We said goodbye to mom (who is staying behind with Rowan and Amelia) and headed out.  I took one last look at Rowan in his crib.  His little (well, not so little) legs were wedged between the slats of the crib.  I fixed him up, kissed him, and we left.

The drive up was uneventful...until we got to the airport.  Just as we were veering to the lane that says "Economy parking," I saw police lights behind us.  I said "I think we're getting pulled over."  "For what?" Tim asked.  Because we were barely moving.  We pulled over, and the police man approached our car with a flash light.  He had pulled us over because Tim was speeding (really?) and he has a tail light out.  We didn't get a ticket, but that was not the start to the day I had anticipated (or wanted).

We were in the terminal with plenty of time.  I've had in my mind that, no matter how not hungry I am, I have to carb load.  I ate three cookies at 2 am, and now it was time for "breakfast" at 5 am.  I had a bagel/bacon/egg sandwich.  We made our flight just fine--it was to Denver.  I took Dramamine before we got on, and I passed out asleep before we even took off.  I woke up about 5 minutes before we landed.

When we landed in Denver, it was 10:30.  But we had been up a LONG time.  That's 12:30 Indiana time.  We ate at a pizza place--calzones.  We hopped aboard another plane to Portland.  As an aside, Southwest Airlines uses something called "open seating" that we really didn't like.  You just get on and pick your seat.  It was hard to find two seats together.

I was awake slightly longer on the Portland flight (maybe 15 minutes), but with another Dramamine in me fell asleep again until almost the end of the flight.  Once in Portland, we had to get our rental car.  As expected, the rental car people tried to sell us everything:  extra insurance, pre-paid fuel, etc.  We bought none of it and took off in our silver Ford Focus.

But we weren't headed straight to Eugene.  We had a very important stop to make first.  We are lucky enough to be friends with the Bowders, Mark and Alita, who live in Washington state (with their son Alec, who is 10 and runs miles to earn time on his DS...I love that system).  Anyway, Mark was kind enough to send us a pass to the Nike Employee Store that is located in Beaverton, Oregon...very close to Portland.  What is the Nike Employee Store?  I'll save my major hyperbolic descriptors until a few paragraphs below, but it's basically a Nike store where everything--all the new stuff, not like discontinued stuff--is 50% off.  Mark is a wear tester for Nike and I think they give him these passes as a token of appreciation.  And we got one!  Thank you, Mark!

When we pulled up to Nike, we couldn't believe how crowded it was.  There were parking spots.  This was at 10:30 am (1:30 pm in Indiana...we're all messed up).  We found a spot in the very back and went in.  But you don't just "go in."  You have to be checked in.  It's akin to going through security at the airport, except you don't have to take your shoes off.  I was astounded, though, that a guy in front of us was wearing Asics.  Anyway, we got up to the counter and they asked for our pass, which we gave them.  Then they needed photo ID.  Now, there was a little concern on Mark's part that we might not get in.  Our addresses on our licenses don't match--Tim's is still his old one from before we were married.  So I brought a bank statement with both our names and address on it.  That was our ticket in (so thank you to Mark for calling to find out we needed it!).

I can hardly describe, in words, my reaction when we walked in to the actual store.  Music was playing.  To the left, there were all things women's running.  Sports bras, singlets, jackets, shorts.  To the right, it was men's.  To the back, it was kids.  I texted Mark with:  "OMG!!!!"  "Yes, you're definitely in there now.  Have fun!" was his reply.

You have to understand, we are Nike people.  I don't even like my daughter to wear non-Nike shoes.  Come to think of it, I don't like Rowan to wear non-Nike shoes, and he's not even walking yet.  I will run in nothing other than Frees (except I do have the New Balance minimus trail shoes, which are like Frees for the trail), and all of our running gear is Nike.  We found ourselves surrounded by all the Nike merchandise we could possibly take in visually....and all of it for 50% off!  The store was as big as a football field.

We didn't know where to start.  Tim said "Let's take a look around, walk around, then we'll devise a game plan."  That worked out fine until we made it to the kids shoes.  We stopped and obsessively looked at all infant shoes.  Tim found a pair of black, high-top Chuck Taylors in Rowan's size.  He had to have them, obviously.  After that, my memory is a little hazy.  That's because we got to the women's shoe section.   I lost Tim, who had gone on to the men's shoe section.  I was surrounded by all the Frees I could imagine--and all 50% off.  Tim and I reconnected from time to time, both with armfuls of orange boxes.  It soon became apparent that we'd need a cart, which Tim fetched.

After my shoe experience, it was on to running apparel.  Then, it was onto running/soccer apparel for Amelia.  We now have matching running shorts.  I also found her some shoes and sandals.

I don't know how long we were in there, but it was a long time.  All told, we came out with 8 pairs of shoes and more clothes than I care to admit.  Wow.

After that, we were hungry again.  Getting up at 2 am will do that to you.  We went to Olive Garden for our fifth meal of the day.  Breadsticks and pasta.  I ate until I could eat no more.  Then it was time to head to Eugene for the expo.

I've been to many marathon expos, but never for a marathon I was actually going to run. So this was a first for me.  The expo was not huge (like Chicago or Boston), but it was good-sized.  Our favorite booth was that of the Oregon Track Club, who were selling singlets and t-shirts to benefit Pre's trail.  Both Tim and I now have Oregon Track Club singlets.

We got our packets and our shirts.  I'm not very happy with the shirt, as the size small I got comes almost to my knees.  I asked about an extra small, but they didn't have any.  Oh, well.  We made it to our hotel and promptly got in bed and started eating again.  This time, pretzels and Nutella.  We watched "Spirit of the Marathon" and went to bed at 8 pm.

I woke up, wide awake, at 6:45 am (9:45 Indiana time) and haven't been able to get back to sleep.  We are meeting the Bowders in about 40 minutes.  After that, we're going to run a couple of miles on Pre's trail.  Then it's back to the room to obsess over getting everything ready for tomorrow.  At 5:30, a v-team dinner.  Then an early bed time.  And then....go time!

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